Elevate your dining experience.
Pairing the right wine with your food should create a truly epic dining experience. Did you know that matching your food with your wine is the perfect opportunity to create a more enjoyable experience for you and your friends when you dine out at your favourite tastecard restaurant? To get started you should know that there are two types of pairings that top sommeliers learn about: complementary pairing and congruent pairing.
Complementary pairing is the easiest one to remember because this is where food and wine choices should be exact opposites to each other. Perhaps the most recognisable example of this would be pairing a fine red wine with a deliciously! fatty red meat like steak. The high-fat content of juicy steak is balanced out by the tannins in red wine, leading to a balanced mouth feel that reduces the negatives and embraces the positives of the pairing. Another great example of a complementary pairing would be the choice to marry a salty cheese like Roquefort with a sweet dessert wine - the perfect balance of acidity and sweetness counterbalancing the saltiness of the cheese with sublime, tastebud-tingling precision.
Congruent pairing is slightly more tricky because here both elements, the food and the wine, need to share the same flavour notes and subtleties. A classic combination here would be the pairing of a sweet, unctuous dessert wine, like a Sauternes with a rich, creamy dessert. The fact that the wine has been aged in oak barrels means that buttery flavours develop and these notes work well with dairy-based desserts. If savoury is more your thing then the classic congruent pairing of a rich, oily fish like Salmon with a full-bodied white wine like an oak-aged chardonnay is an excellent choice.